Former Hornet basketball coach, Hall of Honor inductee Joe Treat passes away

Joe Treat, 75, of Helena went to be with the Lord on Saturday, November 14, 2015 with his loving family by his side. A friend once told me “you don’t truly become a man until the death of your father.” If that’s true my dad became a man at 14. The tragic loss of his hero and biggest fan left a lifelong scar that made him the husband, father, friend and coach we loved so dearly. Dad always felt like a underdog and was determined to make something of himself in spite of the difficulty he faced as a child. Though time gave him a thick skin and strong work ethic, but it also gave him a tender heart for other under dogs.

Suffering gave him a kind broken strength that you couldn’t resist. Growing up dirt poor in the Ozarks, Dad found solace in the gym. He loved playing and coaching basketball, but even more the game he loved the coaches, players, and friendship he found through the game. As dad got on in age, he told his stories about people not about awards. One of the greatest joys of my life was getting to play basketball for my Dad. I was never prouder to be his boy then when I called him coach.

Like the game he loved, some seasons of his life were better than others, but he seemed to hit his stride at the end. He spent the fourth quarter of his life fixing up and old Edwardian home in Helena, Arkansas. The house was in major disrepair. The old house’s former glory covered in paint and grime. None of us saw what lay beneath the dirt, but little by little day by day he uncovered the original beauty and craftsmanship. As I watched the transformation it occurred to me this beautiful old house being restored by this beautiful old man is a perfect symbol for dad’s life. Where others saw rubble he saw potential. Surrounded by brokenness he was always able to bring out something beautiful. We will miss you dad: The smell of Hall’s cough drops. menthol cigarettes, and whiskey. Taking a smoke break from hanging sheet rock for a friend. Drinking cold beer laughing with friends and playing shuffleboard. A stern look that sent a shiver down your spine. A confident grin that made you believe you could do anything. The smell of diesel gasoline burning a pile of rubble in the back yard. The sound of sneakers on the gym floor. My stomach in my throat as we travel the hilly roads of Searcy County. Sitting on the back porch listening to sad old country songs and whippoorwills. We Love you.

Joe Treat is survived by his wife Cathy, of Helena; his daughter and son in law Jeannie and Hal Qualls of Rogers; his son and daughter in law Tim and Kim Treat of San Jose, Calif.; his son and daughter in law Chris and Jana Treat of Bryant; his seven grandchildren Josh Qualls, Jacob Qualls, Jodson Qualls, Kathryn Treat, Grayson Treat, Madison Treat, Jackson Treat, and Bryson Treat, his sister Geneva Massey of Conway and his brother Jack Treat of Marshall, Service will be Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 11:00 a.m., at Dial and Dudley Funeral Home in Bryant. Visitation on Monday, Nov. 16, 6-8 p.m., at Bryant High School Multipurpose Room.

In lieu of flowers please give to Joe’s granddaughters Madison’s mission trip to Uganda- To sign online guestbook visit

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